In cryptocurrencies, a node is a computer that participates in maintaining the decentralized network by verifying transactions and blocks. Nodes act as validators for the blockchain, ensuring that transactions are legitimate and following the rules of the network.
Nodes can be categorized into two main types: full nodes and lightweight nodes.
A full node is a computer that stores a complete copy of the blockchain, and validates transactions and blocks by checking them against the network’s rules. Full nodes are considered to be more secure because they verify transactions independently.
A lightweight node, also known as a thin client, only stores a small portion of the blockchain and relies on full nodes to validate transactions. Lightweight nodes are less resource-intensive and can be used on devices with limited storage and processing power, such as smartphones.
Running a node in a cryptocurrency network is voluntary, and anyone can do it. Some people run nodes as a way to support the network and ensure its integrity, while others do it for ideological reasons or to earn rewards.